Is Assisted Suicide the Compassionate Response?
A private member’s Bill euphemistically entitled “Dying with Dignity” is being processed through the Oireachtas. Without mentioning assisted suicide or euthanasia, the aim of the Bill is to legislate in principle for them. Since the contemporary culture is steeped in what Alasdair MacIntyre called emotivism, where feelings replace reason as the motive in decision making, there is a real possibility that such a Bill could eventually be passed on compassionate grounds as a response to a person’s terminal illness, especially one that is marked by intense pain and suffering. But what is meant by compassion?